Development of the mechanical card shuffle
Card shuffling devices were mentioned in the 19th century in the USA for the first time. It is unknown yet what was the purpose of their creation, but they were not discarded and their further development was extremely fast. They were made of various mechanical parts that could reproduce the retrieval of the cards, as well as its shuffling and random distribution.
Chronology of the mechanical card shuffle of the 19th century
In 1878, Henry Ash was the first person who created the apparatus of cards shuffle. It looked like a box without a top where the cards should be placed. The box was shaken by the operator and the cards were falling through the box’s bottom. Half of the deck fell into the lower section while the other part was left atop. The operator took the both parts, packed them upon each other and the operation was likewise repeated.
In 1887, the patent of the machine was passed to Charles Stetson and Silvanus Tingley. There already were two boxes with the springs that were holding cards. It simulated a riffle shuffle, where the cards of the bottom were placed into the middle pile. The operator turned the connected crank to gears that were related with the cards.
In 1892, the patent was filled by William H. Ranney and was called “card shuffling and dealing mechanism”. There was an inclined and fixed box attached to the border of the playing table. The cards were trapped inside and controlled by a lever. If a crank was turned, the bottom wall was lowered. The cards were slid in such a way.
In 1897, the Crooks brothers presented the world the better replica of the mechanical card shuffle machine, which resembled a slot machine a little bit, because of the display of 5 cards. The device was simply reproducing the cards sequence in a random way. It was equipped with the frame of the triangle form that was rotating.
In 1899, the pack of cards was surrounded by horizontal plates and the machine became really compact. It was created by John Bowen but it still resembled the previous machine of Tringley and Stetson. The top play was moving, while the bottom one was fastened. There was a vertical handle that was connected to the top plate (follower). When operator moved a crank, it activated the rollers that were located under the deck. They were shuffling in such a way.
During the beginning of the 20th, the mechanical card shuffle machine was being innovated and improved until it became the computerized cards machine which we use nowadays.